Petroecuador seeks to extend crude delivery to Thailand's PTT by a year -official

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A PTT logo is pictured at a PTT gas station in Bangkok, Thailand, January 5, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

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QUITO, March 22 (Reuters) - Ecuador's state-owned oil company Petroecuador hopes to reach an agreement with Thai counterpart PTT (PTT.BK) to extend the time frame for crude deliveries until the end of 2024 and would welcome talks with the United States to supply oil directly to the North American country, a company official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Petroecuador will hold meetings with PTT this coming Friday to discuss extending the time it has to deliver just over 41.3 million barrels of oil by one year until December 2024, Petroecuador's international trade manager Pablo Noboa said during a virtual call.

"This will provide us with renewed room to make direct sales, above all to large refining plants," Noboa said.

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Petroecuador has not held talks with the U.S. government over direct supply of oil to the North American country, Noboa said, explaining that most of the crude it sends there is handled by intermediaries.

"We want to do these same supplies directly," Noboa said. "It would be very interesting to explore that option of making supplies through the U.S. government."

Though the current oil price environment could be a boon for Ecuador's finances, spending plans should not change based on an extraordinary situation, he said.

Petroecuador is considering medium-term contracts with large refiners such as Valero Energy (VLO.N) and Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC.N), as well as Shell (SHEL.L), among others, to buy its crude, Noboa said.

"In the case of medium-term contracts, the strategy is not to offer a differential, but rather a premium," Noboa said.

Ecuador currently holds a medium-term contract with Shell that ends in 2023, though Petroecuador could renegotiate the contract and increase crude export volumes with a new negotiation of the premium, Noboa said.

Ecuador expects to produce 180 million barrels of crude oil in 2022, of which 101 million barrels will be used to fulfill existing commitments and exports.

The government of President Guillermo Lasso has targeted raising crude production to 1 million barrels per day.

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Reporting by Alexandra Valencia and Oliver Griffin Editing by Marguerita Choy

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